Youth initiative for human rights is one of the first organization to hold memorial service in memory of the Srebrenica genocide. Especially striking is the commemoration from 2005, immediately after the publishing of the video showing the members of the unit Scorpions shooting the captured men of Srebrenica. Youth initiative for human rights was again the organizer of the commemoration with the motto “Too young to remember, determined never to forget”.
This year’s commemoration in Srebrenica was preceded by a different political and social context in Serbia, primarily because the Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić did not go to Srebrenica, but also because of the dispute led between the ministers in the Serbian government and the mayor of Srebrenica.
“As a result, we saw manipulation with judicially confirmed facts, failure to assume institutional responsibility, open denial of the genocide, and constant humiliation of victims by the Serb officials. Unfortunately, that left the paying of tribute to the victims entirely out of focus, so the commemoration organized by the Initiative was the only way to send a different image into the region and to call the events from July 1995 with the real name,” the Initiative stated.
Around one hundred citizens paid tribute to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide by lying numbers up to 8.372 onto the asphalt and lighting candles in front of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia on July 11. In parallel, activists of the Youth initiative for human rights showed banners saying “We will never forget the genocide in Srebrenica”, “Numbers are important if people are important”, and “To young to remember, determined never to forget”.
“Unfortunately, none of the representatives of political organizations or delegates to whom we dent invitations appeared for the gathering, except for several representatives of opposing parties. One month before the commemoration, the Initiative sent a letter to all national delegates, requesting from the National Assembly of Serbia to adopt the Declaration on condemnation of the genocide in Srebrenica and on prohibition of denial of the genocide, asking them to organize a memorial service and, lastly, to join us in front of the Assembly on the evening of July 11. Our initiative was accepted by 11 out of 250 delegates, which is actually the best paradigm of the current relation of the Serb public towards the events that happened in the Eastern Bosnia on July 1995,” the Initiative stated.
Youth initiative for human rights strives to contribute to the reconciliation process in the region through continuous efforts to make the confrontation with war history a part of public discourse in Serbia.
“Back in 2005, on the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, the Initiative placed billboards across Belgrade with photographs of Tarik Samarah from Potočari and the words ‘To see, to know, to remember’. This caused a media demonization, and graffiti ‘There will be a rerun’ and ‘Nož, žica, Srebrenica’ (‘Knife, wire, Srebrenica’) were written all over the billboards. At that time as well, the genocide in Srebrenica was a taboo in the Serb politics, to such an extent that people were not even aware of when it happened and what is its weight on our society.
Ten years later, on the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, with the campaign ‘Seven thousand the Initiative again wanted to draw the attention of the public on why it is important more than ever to organize this commemoration in Serbia, given that we are not talking about the victims or about the responsibility for that genocide, which also originates from Belgrade. It is important that we know what happened in Podrinje in July 1995, that we know why it happened, who is responsible and, by absorbing those facts, to place foundations for the future, built on trust, and on a healthy ground,” the Initiative added.
(Source: klix.ba/photo: klix.ba)